Fomm Concept One floating electric car takes the shock out of flooded roads

Conventional wisdom says that electricity and water don’t mix. But that isn’t the case with the Fomm Concept One, an electric car designed to survive the worst Mother Nature can throw at it. Not only does Fomm bill its Little Tykes-like vehicle as the world’s smallest four-seat electric car, it also claims the Concept One can float.

That’s because, according to AutoBlog, this unusual car is designed for areas that are vulnerable to flooding. This has become a prevalent concern in Japan in the wake of the 2011 Tohoku tsunami.

The Concept One weighs a scant 1,014 pounds, and is powered by two in-wheel electric motors that produce 6.7 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque each. Controls are in the form of motorcycle-like handlebars, and the car features a sliding door for easy to access to what is probably a cramped back seat.

As for getting wet, Fomm says the Concept One is equipped with a “water-jet generator” that allows for some maneuverability once the roads disappear. However, the Concept One isn’t a fully amphibious vehicle; it can’t be driven like a boat, and requires some maintenance after taking a plunge. A vehicle that can float and remain watertight during a storm could be helpful to coastal communities, but its occupants probably won’t find it very helpful if they can’t control where they’re going.

For now, though, the Concept One is just that: a concept. Fomm says the specifications it quoted are just “target design values,” so it’s unlikely we’ll see floating electric cars anytime soon.